Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Vacation Navigation

 See what I mean......? more about that later

 Last year we traveled to Maine with a paper atlas and a laptop that sometimes picked up a signal. We got lost a lot, fussed a lot about who was right and who was wrong, where to go, you know, typical married couple traveling with a map. This year I had my ipad and a verizon hot spot. So we cruised up Interstate 95 with continuous internet, a map tracking app, around me app and where to go app and it was brilliant. We also had a GPS and Gerry's iphone. I know, pathetic, right? We got where we needed to go with a paper map for years. But let me just say this: with my ipad, I became the blue dot!

I could track the traffic on the road,
the app I had showed me where bad traffic was and found routes around the traffic and I even tracked the weather with doplar radar.Check out the band of showers on my weather map to the right. We hated driving on I95 and decided to try an alternate route home. Wouldn't you know, the band of bad weather was ONLY along the I81 corridor that we chose to try. It rained on us from Maine to Charlottesville Va. but there was much less traffic, toll booths, and traffic stalls, so it did turn out to be a better route home.  I could search for restaurants, our hotel, local things to see, it was endless, and addictive. I also checked email and read blogs along the way, although I still can't really blog with my ipad and I don't like typing replies on other blogs, so that was limited use. If I saw a point of interest, I just did a quick google to see what it was, and I got quick history lessons along the way. I read about rivers we crossed, towns we passed through, it was mind boggling and for Wesley, my anti techie, infuriating! At one point, when I was driving, Gerry was messing with his GPS, her GPS (a newer model), his iphone, and my ipad. Wes just threw her hands up in utter dismay. It was a bit much I have to admit, but he is a tech junkie, I ride somewhere in the middle of the two of them.

 My friend Laura will be gagging about now, seeing this photo of Cracker Barrel! This place is an interstate phenomenon and I will just go ahead and admit that we eat at them when we are on the road and trying to put some miles behind us. Getting off the interstate on our long travel days is not going to happen with Gerry Broome. We look for quick and easy. So we ate at Subways and several Cracker Barrels, yes we did. When you have a vegetarian in the family, road options are limited, and Wes will at least eat their pancakes and they serve them day and night, and they are really good! I just wish the place wasn't so loud, and sooooo crowded! I do like the tacky factor though. I like me some tacky shit. I did pack some food for the road, but we tried to keep it simple this year and travel light. We could have stopped for picnics, but it poured rain on us up and back this year, so restaurants were the only option.
 If I have anything to do with it, we will never again in our lifetime travel on interstate 95!!!! I HATE this highway. Let me say that again,  I HATE THIS HIGHWAY!  
                                                               The EVIL STINKY.
There are always traffic stalls, assholes, crazy drivers and out of control truckers on this road, and I am a nervous wreck sitting in the passenger seat. This is in Connecticut. It looked like this last year when we drove up on a Monday. This was on a SUNDAY! Doesn't anyone around there ever stay home?

The toll booths are another reason we looked for an alternate way home. There has to be a better way. And by the way, where is that money going? I thought it was supposed to pay for the roads, but my car will need an alignment after this trip, so they are not spending that money to fix any pavement that I drove on. By now you are probably asking yourself why we didn't fly. Have you tried to book a flight lately? It's worse than driving on Hell Highway (my new name for I95). Every time we thought we had something lined up, the price changed. We would have to rent a car, we like our car. Gerry travels by plane all the time and it's never easy. I used to travel every week and it was so easy. Now it is just a way to make you grow old and angry faster, just not worth it. Driving is so much more pleasant, most days anyway. And we had lots of time in the car to argue and laugh and listen to good music, eat chocolate and twizzlers and pringles, create new names for things, all the good things that come with car travel.  

Our first few days in Maine looked like this. Cold and rainy, and we loved it. But the sun did shine, I have many beautiful photos and I will spread out my Maine blog over the next few days so I keep your attention! and yes there was really good food too!
Oh, about the first photo: great little Mexican dive we found in Brunswick Maine. Very slow service and not at all attractive, but the salsa verde on my spinach enchiladas with corn tortillas made my eyeballs sweat and the sopapillas were the real deal. I saw this sign on the way back to the car and asked Wes and Gerry to stand by it so I could take a picture. They got weird on me and it became a trend all through our trip. I have lots more of these, some I might not be allowed to show, haha!
more later...... Hasta la vista


angela walford said...

you write a great tale trace...happy travels! I must say the road trips were rather enjoyable and the plane trips rather boring, oh and the endless security checks at least you dont have that on the road yet!! love the mehican pic :))

cookingwithgas said...

looks like a winner of a trip, hell highway and all.
I do like car travel sometimes, but for me now I don't mind a good plane ride.
Getting there is half the fun.
You have some cheeky passangers with you.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Ang, yes happy travels! Air travel for me is the worst, I'll put up with the crazy driving over the invasive security and cramming in the tin can any day!
Hey Meredith, our getting there was a bunch of laughs, I live with some silly folks, haha! But you can have the air travel.

Lori Buff said...

Traveling with technology can be better, especially since you also know how to stop and look at the beauty. Your pictures are great, bringing Maine right to our computers.
I gotta say I stay away from CB since the whole homophobia incident with them a few years ago but it can be challenging eating vegetarian on the road.
Looks like a lovely trip.

Susan Wells said...

Oh coolio! I know about 95!!! It's so much nicer to travel I40 across the country- easy driving. 95 is hell on wheels- no wonder my Aunt Winky who lives in Connecticut. hates to travel by car. Can't wait to see more pics Wes looks awesome and Gerry, looks, about 13 years old! Funny!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Lori, I had completely forgotten the Cracker Barrel incident until we walked in and at the front door they have this big plaque stating their intent to serve and be kind to all races, religions, sexes, etc. It was weird and then reminded me of all that trouble. I don't watch much TV and I never know what's going on, if I do hear about something I forget it so quickly, but it did ring a bell when I read the plaque. I will say that the people that served us were very kind and polite, but I did notice that it was awfully "white" in there.... will there ever be a time?!?! sigh....... I just don't see people for their color or sexual preference or religion and I forget there are people out there that do. Not much of that going on here in Chapel Hill thank goodness!
Hey Susan, yeah, we have done the I 40 thing too and find it much easier. What are you talking about Gerry looking 13? He IS 13, haha!!

Laura Farrow said...

Yeah, GAG on the Cracker Barrell!! It was, however my mother's favorite restaurant on earth.... so I do have a teeny tiny soft spot for it...
looking forward to reading about more of your roadtripping adventures... xo

Kings Creek Pottery said...

Road trips are great for connecting- being together in a confined space is good for that. It sounds like you guys had a good time, poor food and all ;)

When we go to Maine we use the Mass. Pike and I-495. What is it with Mass. drivers?? They are like the Conn. ones you ran into ~crazy, crazy! Maybe it's just the interstates that bring them out...New England is supposed to be all charming, etc.

Michèle Hastings said...

we travel 81 when we go to NH... it is longer mileage-wise but always faster because of the traffic on 95, and so much more enjoyable.
My daughter Danielle lives in New Haven, Ct and she hates the traffic.. She drives in it everyday all day... she is a pharmaceuticals sales rep for Pfizer. Sometimes she calls me during the day to catch up on things while she is in a traffic jam!
I think I like the slow, southern, country life.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Laura, yeah I knew you would be gagging, but try to find a place on the interstate that Gerry and Wesley will eat at and you will see why we stop there ha!
Kathy, yes those Mass drivers!!! they are crazy!
Michele, the slow south is nice, but it's slow because of the thick humidity, haha! We did like 81 though, I highly suggest it over 95!! God, the New Haven area is awful, that's where that traffic shot is from.

Michèle Hastings said...

i am not surprised that that traffic shot was New Haven! She is young and loves it there. Lots of good restaurants, night life, shopping,beaches nearby, and only a short drive to NYC.
I am getting old. I like the quiet!